Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, RTD Chair Lorraine Anderson, Denver City Councilman Chris Herndon, and other officials gathered today to break ground on the future Peoria Bridge which will span railroad and future commuter rails. The project is designed to enhance roadway safety and improve travel reliability through the area by separating vehicle, pedestrian, bicycle, and train traffic.
“The future bridge over the rail tracks shows what happens when federal, state and regional efforts come together to make improvements for our residents,” Mayor Hancock said. “Thanks to the partnership between the City of Aurora, RTD, DRCOG, CDOT, the Federal Highway Administration and other agencies, we are able to build a structure that provides safer routes for drivers and more efficient travel across the region. We look forward to the bridge opening up to traffic next summer.”
This project, which extends from Peoria Street between East 39th Avenue and Baranmor Parkway, is designed to improve safety by eliminating the conflicts between vehicles and trains at the at-grade rail crossing. It is also intended to improve travel time predictability and reduce traffic congestion at the Peoria Street and Smith Road intersection.
Peoria Street is a key north-south arterial roadway running through Denver and Aurora,” said Mayor Hogan. “This new bridge will be critical to growing transportation needs, providing access to key regional facilities including the Anschutz-Fitzsimons Medical Campus, Denver International Airport, Interstates 70 and 225, Colfax Avenue, transit stations, emergency services, universities, businesses, community services, and schools.”
The project will also provide better facilities and crossings for pedestrians and cyclists. Daily there are approximately 32,000 vehicles crossing where the railroad tracks meet Peoria Street. Between the commuter and freight rails bringing approximately 200 gate closings a day, the future bridge will allow drivers to bypass the tracks.
"People who commute in this area know how congested it can get”, said RTD Director District B Barbara Deadwyler. “In fact, Peoria Street is one of our busiest arterials with 32,000 vehicles crossing the freight rails per day. The elevated crossing of Peoria Street will be greatly appreciated when it is completed.”
Along with building a bridge that spans both the existing Union Pacific Railroad tracks and the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) East Rail commuter line, the Peoria Crossing Project includes:
- Building a 14-foot wide sidewalk along the bridge for safe access to the commuter rail station
- Improving the existing Peoria Street between 33rd and 39th avenues to create a frontage road on the east side of the new bridge structure
- Addition of plazas in both Aurora and Denver with direct access to the rail station from the Aurora plaza
- Constructing retaining walls
- Relocating utilities
- Making aesthetic improvements
The estimated cost of this project is $50 million with half of the money coming from federal sources and half from the City and County of Denver, City of Aurora and RTD. The new bridge is scheduled to open to traffic in June 2014 and project completion is scheduled for September 2014.
With majority of the construction occurring next to the current Peoria Street, minimal traffic impacts are anticipated. For additional information and images of the project, please visit, www.denvergov.org/PeoriaCrossing.